LIS447 - Binding Obsession

A view down the length of the ("C"-shaped) lab. To the near right, Nancy is showing us some recent projects. To the immediate left are those recently conserved items mentioned above. To the far right would be the entrance to the lab and some general collections processing.

Preservation and conservation services at the MIT libraries

During the last session of my Collection Maintenance class, we visited Preservation and Conservation Services at the MIT Libraries, housed in the Wunsch Conservation Laboratory. Located in the basement of Hayden Library, the department handles preservation; reformatting; shelf, exhibit, and disaster preparation; conservation treatment; and outreach. We spent some time talking with both Anne Marie Willer, […]

What looks to me like a standing press, complete with books and brass-edged boards. We've been working with nipping presses at NBSS. This was in the main entryway.

Acme Bookbinding and Harcourt Bindery

On Friday, our class had the privilege of touring Acme Bookbinding (and the connected Harcourt Bindery). Acme is a family business based in Charlestown, MA, and it’s an impressive operation (you can read about the company’s history here). The president, Paul Parisi, took two hours out of his busy day to show us around, and it was […]

Ideally, the measurements should account for the board thickness and should therefore not be visible from overhead, but our instructions were simplified; here you can see that the cradle extends beyond the borders of the book slightly.

Exhibition mounts

One of the best ways to promote an institution’s collections—especially special collections and archives—is through exhibitions. There are a number of points to consider when putting on an exhibition, but there are plenty of resources available on this topic, and since I don’t have any direct experience putting on an exhibit, I won’t be going […]

The wrapper fully opened. This isn't the book it was made for (it's a bit small for this wrapper), but the book the wrapper is intended for is something I hope to write about in the future, so I'll leave it a mystery for now.

Custom protective enclosures

One of the most important skills for a preservationist is the ability to decide what treatments are appropriate in what situations. We’ve learned a number of repair techniques so far for both paper and books as a whole, and this week we covered protective enclosures—in other words, what to do when direct treatment of an […]

In this image, you can see the heavy-weight Japanese tissue peaking out from a hole in the strengthened tailcap.

Intermediate book repair: Rebacking and recasing

This week’s class focused on some more advanced book repairs, rebacking and recasing. Each of these repairs involves quite a few steps, so rather than describe them here in the detail I did for the basic book repairs, I’m just going to give an overview of what’s involved with each procedure. (Trust me when I […]

A loose hinge. This probably isn't the best example, but apparently most of my hard-cover books have great hinges. In any case, this should get the point across.

Basic book repairs

This week’s class (with guest professor Steve Smith from Wellesley College) focused on book history and basic repairs to books. I won’t go into the history here, since I hope to write more about that in the fall (I’ll be taking a class called History of the Book, so I’ll have plenty of inspiration), but […]

Probably my best repair yet.

Learning about paper repair

Friday the 17th was the first session of my Collection Maintenance class, taught by Donia Conn and held at the North Bennet Street School. It was a lot of fun. The format of the class is half lecture/half hands-on learning. This week’s focus, after the introduction, was paper, and after spending the morning learning about how […]